Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is one of the most common causes of low back pain. The term of ‘degenerative’ is sometimes misunderstood by patients which questioning themselves with these questions:

-Will the disease make me end up in wheelchair?

-Should I restrict my activities?

-Will it spread to other parts of spine?

However, DDD is not strictly degenerative and is not really a disease.

Disc degeneration is a natural process of aging and over time all people will exhibit changes in their discs, which consistent with a greater or lesser degree of degeneration.

Degeneration of discs is normal with increasing age. However, pain occurs when these discs or the growth of bone spurs pinch and put pressure on the nearby nerve roots or spinal cord.



Aging > disc dehydrate or dry out; lose the ability to absorb shocks between vertebral bodies > Unlike muscles, there is minimal blood supply to the discs, so they lack reparative powers.


Aging > The bone and ligaments that make up the spine become less flexible and thicken.




  • Many times, people who are suffering DDD do not show any symptoms.
  • When symptoms are present, chronic low back with/out radiation to the hips or aching in the buttocks and/or the backs of the thighs may be seen during walking.
  • Pain may generally become worse with sitting, bending, twisting and lifting.


Treatment Options

-Many symptomatic DDD are resolved with conservative managements such as:

* Bed rest


*Anti inflammatory medication

*Steroid treatment


-If the pain is not relieved after two to three months, surgery may be recommended.


-Signs that surgery may be needed included:

*Leg or back pain limits the activity

*Weakness or numbness in leg

*Difficulty walking or standing

*Medication and physiotherapy are ineffective




Prepared By:

Nur Hidayu binti Bolia


Klinik Pakar Orthopedik & Pusat Fisiterapi Kemaman.

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